Hiya, just wanted to pop up a quickie Friday post for you. Ever since I read about the new Essie fall 2011 collection I have wanted to know ONE thing that I have not been able to find on any other of the wonderful nail polish and beauty blogs….that ONE thing is… How does Essie’s new Very Structured polish compare to OPI’s past holiday release, Ginger Bells? Well, having exhausted the search engine several times (seriously, I even needed to give it an oil change), I decided to go ahead and purchase it and see for myself.

OPI Ginger Bells, Essie Very Structured

Bottle-to-bottle you can already tell that Very Structured is deeper, and not quite as much orange as it is…terracotta? But the real test is how they look on the nail…

OPI Ginger Bells vs Essie Very Structured

Definitely different! Although it would be cool to wear some sort of fall ombré mani and use both of these colors in it! Can’t complain about the formula of either of them. This is one coat of each (albeit, a thicker one) with no top coat. Also, disregard the piece of sparkle on my ring finger =P

In case you are wondering what’s on my index finger, that’s Butter London’s Fash Pack…which you will see in a post soon.

It doesn’t hurt owning both, because honestly these kinds of colors aren’t ones I see very often and are so much fun to wear from now until Thanksgiving. Very Structured is probably more wearable. These shades are both those “love it or hate it” types and usually for me that means I will love it. Last year when I wore Ginger Bells on my fingers a guy I work with actually wrinkled his nose at it. True story, lovelies. As far as my boy is concerned, he doesn’t usually pay that much attention to my nails, but he really likes all of these shades together. …

Autumn is here!!!

But. He said if he *had* to choose favorites, it would be Ginger Bells. Personally, I think he’s biased and likes it because it reminds him of his all-time favorite Starbucks drink, the Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Happy Weekend ladies and gents! ;)

I don’t remember how long ago I first tweeted about this palette, but it’s probably been a good two months. I feel bad it has taken me this long to finally feature it! Anywho.. I was doing my usual aisle-by-aisle walk through of Ulta and (as it usually does) something sparkly caught my eye….

CARGO Metallico Eyes Palette

Ahhh. Is it legal to have this much sparkle in one palette?!?! My first thought when I saw this was…”OMG, these are like Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill!!!” (only in my head I  say ETK) =P It’s too long of a thought otherwise.

Swatches of the top row, dry and wet.

 

Swatches of the bottom row, dry and wet.

I love how these apply when wet. When dry they are more of a sparkly sheer base, but wet…they are POW in your face. I see several shades here that look like Chanel (Illusion d’Ombre) or Giorgio Armani (Eyes to Kill). The best part was that this palette (and a super cute bag and a double ended brush) was only $39. That’s just over the price of one Chanel or GA shadow. Only, you get 8 shades!

As far as performance goes, as I stated above, the colors are better when wet (I use Fix+ from MAC) and perform more like the Giorgio Armani ones when you do so. I wouldn’t say they are as long lasting though. I don’t have to use primer with GA, but I did with these. I also don’t have to use Fix+ and I really felt like I needed to here. The texture is nothing like the ones from Chanel and really not like the Buxom Stay-There shadows either. These seem closest to the Eyes to Kill formula because it feels like densely packed “loose” particles, and both formulas are designed to also be used wet.

L-R: CARGO , Buxom Stay There Shadow in Pug, Giorgio Armani ETK #4

L-R (with flash) CARGO, Buxom Pug, GA #4

I thought I’d share some side-by-side swatches of what the CARGO palette greyish/purple shade looks like compared to Buxom’s Stay There Shadow in Pug and Giorgio Armani ETK in #4. A lovely friend is sending me some of her Chanel Illusiore and I cannot wait to compare that with these three as well.

I have used these all over my lids as a base, and I have used some of the shades as liner. I find as liners they last longer and never smudge or budge, but when I use them all over the lids, I do notice a little bit of creasing by the end of the day. If you layer if with a powder shadow I find no creasing at all. Doesn’t the black totally remind you of Chanel’s Mirifique?! I had the Chanel artist put Mirifique on my eyes as a liner when it first released and I was so disappointed that the sparkle was totally lost in translation. Not here my friends…check out how I wore this today:

CARGO Metallico Eyes palette black shade as liner

The sparkle is absolutely there and is totally eye brightening. This is on it’s own, but if you prefer even more black and dark liner, just layer it over a black shadow. It’ll look amazing!

FOTD!

FOTD Product Rundown-

Face:

Eyes:

Lips:

Whether or not this palette is for depends on a few things…how often or how much you like sparkly shades and if you have been wanting a similar effect to the more expensive versions but didn’t want to shell out all that dough for just one shade. I believe this mimics the effect of other shadows like it on the market.

It is worth noting that the compact is small (think a bit bigger than a credit card) and each shadow is .7 grams. The Chanel and Giorgio Armani ones have 4g of product and Buxom gives you 3.5g. If you do the math, .7×8= 5.6g of product total. So you ARE getting more. What I like about this palette the most is the range of colors. I cannot say I will entirely use up any one shade of Eyes to Kill or Chanel. It just probably won’t happen. So to own smaller sizes of more shades to me is a better value overall.

 

 

Hi Ladies! I am back from my wilderness trip. Fully rested in my mind and soul, and thoroughly tired out in my muscles and body from all the fresh air and activities we did. It was amazing. I thought I would share a few pictures of my trip, plus just one of the goodies that was waiting on my doorstep when I got home….making coming back that much easier (other than missing modern technology and all my lovely blogger/twitter friends and awesome readers). :)

The roads were so windy and rolling. I loved the drive, albeit a long one! At least the view was stunning!

The pretty changing leaves against the ones that were still green was so captivating to me. I snapped several photos with the same contrast. Anyone who thinks you need to go to Vermont to see beautiful color has never been to the Midwest in early October ;)

Of course, all of the dogs couldn’t wait to swim. Note the crystal clear water. We used this spring fed water to bathe in and my hair has never been softer. I want to import this water to my house.

This Loon kept following us around. It was so cute. It swam back and forth underneath our raft. I feel like it was taunting the dogs, daring them to try and chase it. The loons calls during the day and at dusk were so chilling and haunting, yet serene at the same time. It was probably one of my favorite parts of the trip. Google Loon calls if you have never heard one. They have several different calls and all are equally lovely.

Again, the contrast is what struck me here. Simple mug against green moss (of which there was plenty around).

Brinkley decided to try climbing out on this log….

…and quickly fell off. Luckily, the sandy bottom was gentle on his paws. ;) Of course, being the stubborn boy he is, he promptly decided to try climbing on the log again.

I look forward to this SO much. Plain marshmallows do nothing for me. But roast them over a fire and I’m a total addict. I consumed more than my fair share. xD

It’s views like this that make me never want to leave a place. It made taking a break from everything that much more special and worth it. :)

This is quite possibly my favorite photo of the trip. I already have a frame that this picture is going in. The water was like glass, making such cool reflections. It looked particularly beautiful at dusk *cue loons calling*

AND…

On to the special treat and giveaway. I went ahead and ordered MAC’s MSF in Lightscapade after hearing so much about this ethereal glowing highlighter. Once I found out it was being repromoted in the MAC Fall Colour Collection (out this week) I knew I wanted to test it out. It didn’t disappoint.

MAC Lightscapade MSF

It’s so hard to capture the different reflects in this MSF. But, suffice it to say that my version (all are different due to the unique veining) shines peach, pink, gold and opal/iridescent.

MAC MSF Lightscapade Swatch

In this picture you can kind of see the pink and gold flashes. It depends on which angle you view and the lighting. What I really like about this MSF compared to others is that it isn’t frosty. It isn’t chunky or gritty. It is smooth and silky and adds a gorgeous glow. I could see this being a great winter highlighter too.

AND, because I always want to give back to you lovely ladies, one of you lucky gals is going to win one too! It hasn’t arrived yet, but when it does I will add the picture of the veining you will be receiving. I wanted to get this post up ASAP because it looks like the collection went live online tonight.

The Rules:

Extra Entries:

I loved being away, but I also loved coming back. A good time was had by all, and I can’t wait to do it again soon. And again, thanks for making blogging so much fun ladies! :)

This Giveaway is now closed. Congrats to lovely Canadian blogger Arianne of Glitter Geek! I use random.org for my giveaways at present. You don’t have to be a blogger to win. Thanks to everyone who entered!

I always get a good laugh when people give me a strange look after I tell them I like the outdoors. Fishing, camping, gardening….I love it all. It’s probably my known obsession for all things feminine and girly that throws them off the scent of the tomboy that lies within.

Scene from our campsite on a similar trip last fall

Anywho, I am preparing to leave for a wilderness vacation. When I say wilderness, I mean….no cell phone signal, no running water…no electricity. Basically, being at one with nature. It is going to be so much fun! Our dogs always love these trips and honestly, I am jumping out of my skin with anticipation. Getting completely “unplugged” is a great, and much welcomed feeling for me.

To say that my beauty routine on this trip will be “low maintenance” is an understatement. It’s going to be practically non-existent. But, I will bring a few things with me just in case the occasion calls for it. We will have a solar shower with us so we can bathe (thank God, otherwise it would be a little unbearable for me). As long as I feel clean, the rest doesn’t matter. Ponytails and elastic bands are going to be my BFFs.

But on to the good stuff. What will I bring? Only 5 products are necessary.

Going for the bare minimum!

The Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream: Recommended by J. of Lil Lady’s Life and it’s a total smash hit for me. It is lightweight and non-greasy and really does help keep the oilies away. It feels refreshing on my skin.

Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Roller: Again, something lightweight and will help me feel like I look refreshed as well as I feel refreshed. I love rolling this under my eyes…very soothing.

Keepin' it simple

Tarte Waterproof Mascara Mini: I got this in a kit awhile ago. I am not entirely sure of the name of the mascara as it doesn’t say. I just know it’s one of the few waterproof ones I have. We go rafting and it’s inevitable my face it going to get wet. If I deign to wear mascara at all, it’s got to be waterproof. This one survived jet-skiing and swimming this summer so I know it will do the trick.

Mally Evercolor Shadow Stick in Champagne: My fav color of the line and the first one I ever purchased. It’s easy to just swipe on and it’s budge proof (yes, even in the water for me). I don’t need primer or a brush to apply it making this the logical choice to brighten my eyes if I feel inspired to take that extra step :)

Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector in Rose Shimmer: When I tried this on at the Clarins counter a few weeks ago I knew it was such a lovely balm/gloss hybrid. It gives my lips a subtle, natural color and I really like the way it feels on. It isn’t sticky and doesn’t have any taste.
That’s all! Enjoy your week ladies, talk to you when I return! :)

Hi ladies! I was so excited to start this week because…short work week! I’m only in the office until Wednesday and then, it’s wilderness time! :) I literally cannot wait to get out of cell phone range and be totally unplugged! But, for now I am still here. I had two reader requests recently that I wanted to go ahead and post about it. Both are blush related.I hope this helps you ladies out, and thanks for being such sweethearts ;)

Milani Luminoso vs MAC Nuance

The first request was to show how Milani Luminoso and MAC Nuance blushes compare. As you can see, Luminoso has more pink to it, and Nuance is more of a true peach. Nuance was a limited edition shade (or it was discontinued) and isn’t available anymore (try CCO or AllCosmeticsWholesale as they both usually have it). They are similar, but not dupes.

The next request was to swatch all of my MAC blushes. I had to wait for it to get sunny out, and luckily today gave me a bit of sun later in the day and I was able to swatch everything before dusk hit!

MAC Blush Swatches

L-R:

MAC Blush Swatches

L-R:

MAC Blush Swatches

L-R:

MAC Blush Swatches

L-R:

MAC Blush Swatches

L-R:

That’s it for now! I still have my eye on a few blushes from MAC, namely Melba, Cantaloupe, and Burnt Pepper. Are there any other MAC permanent blushes you feel are must haves? Lemme know! I am truly a blush girl and am always looking to try new favorites.

I know I still need to do a NARS blush post as well, and believe me that’s coming soon. I just need to wrap up some other things first. I am always happy to take requests, whether it’s comparing things with swatches or otherwise.